A 17-year-old Evanston resident is in the county juvenile detention center after he allegedly stole a car from a Skokie man who’d hoped to buy drugs from him.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan says a 19-year-old Skokie man went to an alley in the 100 block of Clyde Avenue about 1 a.m. Tuesday hoping to buy some cannabis. But he was confronted by two subjects, one armed with a silver handgun, who made him turn over the $40 he’d planned to use to buy the drugs, his cell phone and the keys to his car, which was parked in the 500 block of Howard Street.

Police recovered the man’s car an hour later in the 100 block of Clyde and arrested a juvenile shortly before noon the next day who they believe was the gunman in the holdup. He’s now been charged with one count of aggravated robbery. Dugan says detectives are still working to catch the second robber and recover the gun used in the incident.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Where did the young Evanston resident head down the wrong path?

    First, the 17 year old arranges a drug deal.  Strike one: breaking the law by intending to sell drugs.

    The drug deal is set up for 1:00 a.m. in an alley.  Strike two: out past curfew with no obvious exemption applying. 

    The 17 year old then works with someone else to hold up the drug buyer with a gun.  Strike three: armed robbery and our juvenile is holding the gun.

    Then the 17 year old steals the drug buyer's car.  Strike four: grand theft auto (a felony) perhaps or at least joyriding which is a misdemeanor?

    How does a 17 year old get the idea to break the law in so many ways, especially with a gun?  

    Questions:  How have family members been involved in raising this child?  What schools has the child attended?  In every grade at school, was this child achieving at or above grade level?  Did this juvenile read at grade level or above in third grade?  Did this juvenile have any adults who acted as mentors or role models?  Did the juvenile participate in any city, park district or other before school, after school and summer programs?

    Has anyone ever studied Evanston juveniles who run afoul of the law in a serious way (armed robbery, assault and battery, murder) to determine what factors in their lives may have contributed to them choosing to go down that path?

    1. Wayward youth

      Yep…LOTS to chew on in your comment. Behaviors, personalities, learning habits, morals…those are mostly set in place before a child is 5 years old. Too many kids are not being raised by 2 DECENT parents, let alone anyone else. Nobody seems to mention logic and good ole' common sense. There are plenty of adults today running around thinking they can get away with everything..or that there are no real consequences for negative behavior. Criminals do get caught…..DUH ! Then you have a police record..and may possibly do jail time (no fun there, I'm sure)…..then it can ruin your future, job-wise…….it's unbelievably alarming that there are so many clueless people out there. I hope they read these comments….but…can they even read?

    2. District 202 wants to do this

      At the last District 202 board meeting, as reported in Evanston Now, ETHS wants to make each students success or failures "Backmappable". If they would share this information with the police and the courts what you are asking to be done could be done.

    3. Excellent Question to pursue

      "Has anyone ever studied Evanston juveniles who run afoul of the law in a serious way to determine what factors in their lives may have contributed to them choosing to go down that path?"

      Seems like a great question for Cradle to Career to pursue.

      Are there commonalities with kids who become astray? Are there early signs that can predict future behavior? Is it 3rd grade reading or even earlier? District 65 reported that only 34% of black students were deemed "kindergarten ready" last year, versus 64% for white students.

      What other questions should we be asking? What else can be done to enable all kids to become successful?

      Or should we just stand by and watch the same movie, play over, and over again?

  2. Emphasis on upbringing

    How Interesting you place so much emphasis on his upbringing. Same thing could be said about the young person who broke into and robbed Cross Rhodes and beat up a police officer a few days ago… Probably was raised in a 2 parent home, given everything he wants and still felt the need to break into this well known establishment, which I know the owner and he is the nicest man ever. We cant go back and worry about HOW and WHAT got them to this point, what can we do about the growing crime rate in GENERAL not just single people out basing it on your assumptions. 

    1.  Upbringing

      Not certain whose comment you are addressing when you note that the comment focuses on upbringing and make assumptions.

      My comment does not make any assumptions.  My comment seeks data upon which we can develop strategies to keep kids and young adults out of trouble. Proactive rather than reactive approach.

      But speaking of assumptions: seems like you have made many assumptions about the guy who is accused of robbing Cross-Rhodes and battering a police officer.  The very kind of lawlessness that we want to reduce in this city.

      So how can we assume that he was raised in a two parent household and given everything that he wants?  Do you assume that based on his address or his race or something else?  

      To address crime, we need data.  Assumptions based on address or race can lead us astray.

  3. Bad choices

    Obviously this 17 year-old is making really bad choices.  And who is keeping track of him / supervising him?  He's walking alleys @ 1 AM, carrying a silver gun.  And where did he get the gun?   Did he steal it from the Lone Ranger?   (-;

    am glad the only drugs I use are prescribed by my MD, and sold to me at CVS.    (-;

    (humor / some satire & sarcasm)


    Is Every Parent / Grandparent / Guardian ignoring young people's actions & lives.

    ostriches, heads deeply buried in the sand?

  4. What about punishment side ?

    How many and for how long are criminals punished ?  Are the courts giving them long enough sentences that not only they learn their lesson but those in their gang, acquaintences, age group and public at large finally learn crime does not pay ?  And what about all those parents, lawyers and do gooders who try and many times succed in getting low sentences, and release early.

    We are long past the myth that children are 'good' and should not be punished or if they are, only as junivnals and then let go in a short time.

    There are "bad seeds" that will never change but do gooders want to make the general public pay by letting them out of jail after sentences that fall far short of what they did.

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